The double is in Manchester City’s kitty, courtesy of two goals from captain Ilkay Gundogan.
The German midfielder scored his first after just 16 seconds on the clock and the second on 51 minutes, both wonderfully executed volleys.
His first was with his right foot, which made history as the fastest-ever opening goal in an FA Cup final at Wembley Stadium, and the second was with his left foot.
Erik Ten Hag gave Fred a starting berth while Pep Guardiola continued with Stefan Ortega in goal for the league champions, and the German goalkeeper created the first goal. A long ball was helped on by Erling Haaland, and despite Raphael Varane’s attempted headed clearance, the ball fell perfectly for Gundogan, whose volley left David de Gea stranded. And what a goal it was!
United midfielder Casemiro could have been in trouble in the 12th minute, but his stamp on Manuel Akanji, which VAR checked, was deemed no offence.
Haaland sent a fierce drive over the United goal as City sought a second goal. But United got lucky when Aaron Wan Bissaka’s header was adjudged to have been handballed by Jack Grealish.
Referee Paul Tierney did not blow for any infringement but was called to the monitor some moments later, and after his observations, he gave United a penalty.
Captain Bruno Fernandes calmly rolled the ball past Ortega for the equaliser. The rules of the game say, “A player is considered to have made their body unnaturally bigger when the position of their hand or arm is not a consequence of, or justifiable by, the player’s body movement for that specific situation.” Grealish did that to thwart a goal-scoring move.
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It was against the run of play, but United had grown back into the game at that stage with Marcus Rashford getting more on the ball.
The second half was just five minutes gone when Fred gave away a free kick near the box, and Kevin De Bruyne found Gundogan, who executed another fantastic volley to beat De Gea. Ten Hag sent on Alejandro Garnacho, Wout Weghorst, and Scott McTominay, as they chased the equaliser.
They almost got it two minutes into added time when Varane’s header was scrambled off the line for a corner kick. United finally ran out of time as City won the second of three trophies on their horizon. Guardiola has so much gratitude to offer to Gundogan, the late season ‘Zidane’, who has scored six goals in his last six City appearances.
What is now left in the season is the UEFA Champions League final, as they confront Inter Milan next Saturday in Istanbul.
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